Chandler says he’s committed to USMNT

Photo by ISIphotos.com

When the U.S. Men’s National Team takes to the field on Wednesday, Timmy Chandler is very likely to be starting on the right side of the American defense.

That scenario is something that few would have predicted mere months ago, but it is one that could play out after Chandler accepted his first U.S. call-up in nearly a year.

Having turned down various call-ups for much of 2012, Chandler says he has matured on and off the field in recent months, and that is why he is now ready to play for the U.S. against Russia on Wednesday and on a more permanent basis.

“I was a young player trying to get settled into my club team and wasn’t sure about the long travel and everything that goes into being a part of this National Team,” Chandler told ussoccer.com. “My coaches didn’t like the idea, so I think even I felt some pressure. I’ve had a chance to get settled in with the club and also have grown up a lot. I know what I want to do.”

Chandler is hoping the rest of the U.S. team will accept him after he missed out on the first half of World Cup qualifying and the 2011 Gold Cup, but his teammates are not the only ones he needs to win over.

There is a big percentage of U.S. fans that is not happy with the German-American’s decision to repeatedly turn down call-ups and him accepting this one from head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is unlikely to completely end their skepticism. Chandler will still not be cap-tied to the United States even if he plays on Wednesday in Krasnodar, and the first opportunity for that to happen will not come until next February, at the earliest.

“I understand that a lot of people in the USA may be unsure because they think I have said [I’m committed] in the past,” said Chandler. “All I can say is that I am clear in my head about the commitment moving forward. This was about me being ready to accept the responsibility of being a part of the National Team and everything that goes with it, and now I am ready. I hope I will get chances in the future. I am in 1,000 percent.”

There is no denying that Chandler has enough talent (his speed, crosses from the outside and athletic abilities are all qualities Klinsmann could use)  to help the Americans at a position they could use some youth in, but his commitment will continue to be a topic of conversation until he is finally locked into the U.S. program.

For what it’s worth, Chandler says that time is near.

“I spent a lot of time thinking this over,” said Chandler. “I have had many conversations with Jurgen, my family, my girlfriend and the people close to me, and I finally feel ready to make the commitment.”

—–

What do you think of Chandler accepting this call-up? Believe that he is finally committed to the United States’ cause? Is there a part of you that still feels skeptical?

Share your thoughts below.

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78 Responses to Chandler says he’s committed to USMNT

  1. THomas says:

    Finally…

    On a side note. Is there any chance that Chandler was not Frankenstein for Halloween?

  2. ManicMessiah says:

    If someone doesn’t want to believe this until he is officially cap tied, I can’t blame them, but I can buy what Chandler said. I think it’s understandable if he felt pressure to turn down callups from his club, and if he says he’s committing now I’m willing to take him at his word.

    If he misses the next qualifier, for almost any reason though…

    • Alex says:

      He’s not the only player in the world whose club would rather keep him than risk injury in an international game.

      • Philly Union Rule says:

        Very good point, but a young player, trying to get a foothold in the starting 11 at this club gets into a political situation adding a national team responsibility on top of his club requirements. Remember that older players that are already expected to get national team callups probably get looked at differently when they fly out.

    • basher says:

      I believe him and think he’s handled the situation well. He pledged his allegiance (no pun intended) and was upfront and honest about why he was turning calls down. It was a tough spot and he (or his agent) knows that club comes first, if you want to have a successful career. The USMNT will be better for not having pushed him into a place where he was unsettled at his club.

  3. Betamale says:

    Awesome news. He said all the right things, so let’s see how this saga ends… whether it’s him being cap-tied in February or not. Our team just got significantly better.

    • HoboMike says:

      I agree and I like this new development. His reasons seem to be valid, even if others are waffling (myself included). His decision to accept the call-up to Russia, not exactly the most desirable travel schedule, indicates that he knows he needs to make some amends.

      However, if he misses the February qualifier for ANY reason (outside of family sickness, the book needs to be closed pernamently.

      • CroCajun1003 says:

        This seems to be the overlooked elephant in the room when it comes to the Chandler saga. Dude is incredibly talented and could become a special player.

        I know it makes a lot of USMNT team fans feel good to say, “screw him, we don’t need him”, but truthfully he’s too good a player to turn your back on.

  4. DanO says:

    If Chandler and Cherundolo are both healthy and in form, who starts? If Stevie, for how much longer?

    Personally, I think it depends on the opponent.

    Thoughts?

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Stevie. No Doubt. He has proven he can still compete at a high-level. The spot is his to lose.

      • ThaDeuce says:

        Agreed as long as he keeps his form. I would very much like to see Lichaj and Spector as backups though. Whatever happened to Ream and John? Brek Shea funk?

        • JTnTexas says:

          Can’t speak to John or Ream, per se, but Shea had surgery to remove a bone in the foot that has bothered him for the past five to six months and is supposed out for the next 12 to 14 weeks.

    • Sean says:

      It will be interesting Cherundolo hasn’t looked his age at all though the World Cup is in a little less than 2 years and a lot can happen by then. For now I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cherundolo get most of the away starts since he has the experience while Chandler will get starts at home when Klinsman wants more attacking play.

    • patrick says:

      right now its cherundolo, regardless of opponent, venue, time, atmospheric pressure, amount of sunlight, or any other variable you could think of. Cherundolo is the most solid defender we have ever had.

    • Darwin says:

      When Hannover decides to start transitioning from their captain to a younger right-back, then we can discuss it. I think it will ultimately be their call, I don’t think Stevie will retire from international play before then.

      • beto says:

        Dolo is playing better than ever right now. Take it year by year, game by game but I have not reason to believe he won’t be our best RB anytime soon.

        The fact that he is still the captain of Hannover speaks to his quality. @ Darwin; exactly what i was thinking.

    • cj says:

      Age can creep up at the least opertune times. I agree Dolo has it till he looses it or chooses not to do it. However reality is simple I would rather see Chandler start to play in the Hex and be in form with his teammates. Dolo, no matter how much I like him, is US soccer’s past and at some point a difficult situation has to be made. I think Dolo is great to have off the bench for vetern leadership, especially with all the German kids, and if depth is needed. Ie the last Gold cup.

      I think the same thing can be said of Landon. I thought he was much more dangerous when Bradley had him coming off the bench in the Gold Cup rather than starting him. Oppossing teams just could not keep up with a fresh and ready Landon for the second half, and were forced into subs they did not want to make.

      • GW says:

        Big game hunters used to say “I’d rather have too much gun and not need it,than need more gun and not have it”.

        I’m confident Dolo can retain his form for Brazil. He has been very focused on that goal. However, if he should falter, or get hurt it is good to have Chandler available. Chandler is also versatile and can easily be just as useful in a number of other roles;very important in tournament play.

  5. wildchild says:

    Welcome back, Chandler. Onward to Brazil!

  6. Freddy says:

    I have very few doubts in my mind that if Jogi Loew gave him a call in the next 5 minutes he’d tell us to stick it and bolt for Germany. Not sure how that is relevant at the point but it is on my mind.

    That said, I do hope he is the heir apparent to Cherundolo’s throne because that will be one less spot to worry about filling for the next 10 years or so.

    Johnson-Gonzales-Cameron-Chandler.

    Not a bad future back line…

    • Gary Page says:

      Just about what I was going to say. We could have a pretty good defense for the next 8-10 years if they all stay healthy.

      • Lorenzo says:

        Lichaj!

        • Jamie Z. says:

          I don’t know if you’ve been watching Aston Villa this season, but the boy has a long way to go before he’s ready for consistent national team action. I want him to succeed as much as the next guy, especially as I’m also a Villa supporter, but he’s been shaky at best this season.

          • beachbum says:

            so what? other shaky players have gotten callups too, Agudelo just this time, Shea another example. Not saying lichay should have been called or not, but coach makes callups for many reasons, not just current form, although that is part of it

    • beachbum says:

      well said Freddy, my thoughts too

  7. mikeandike says:

    given his track record, I’ll be fully on board once he is cap-tied…fooled once shame on you, fooled twice shame on me…

    this is step two (after FJ took hold of LB) in turning a recent liability of wing and flank play into an asset… whether Chandler displaces Dolo at RB or not, he has a place in the ideal starting 11… he’s either the best option at RB or RM, second-best at LB…

    Klinsmann and Bradley have often had to cast center mids on the wing, with typically mixed results, but with Chandler, Gatt, Johnson, Shea that may no longer be the case, wihch would strengthen the U.S. attack significantly, at worst it’s an upgrade over what we’ve seen recently

    maybe Gatt proves himself to be even better at RM, but that would be a nice problm to have..

    • quozzel says:

      Really like the idea of bookends with Fabian Johnson and Tim Chandler in the future. Everything we’ve seen out of both of them indicates they’re legit International-level players at OB. Cherundolo will probably still have enough left in the tank to contribute (at worst) as a #2 right back and I can live with Edgar Castillo as our #2 at left back…he’s worlds better than Bornstein was.

      Cameron is legit at CB. I think Gonzalez could be. Boca will still have enough left in the tank to be a factor in Brazil. Edu has shown he can fill capably at CB as well. Dominant center backs? No, not now, not by summer 2014 either. But solid.

      Give Jurgen some credit – he’s quietly gone and re-tooled our entire back line. He finds some young wingers to line up alongside and behind Donovan and we’ve got a vastly stronger squad than we did in 2010.

  8. wilyboy says:

    He’s committed to friendlies.

  9. Murph says:

    Great news, let’s see what happens in Feb.

  10. a says:

    ]=uck chnadler

  11. Siberian says:

    Looking forward to the wedding February 6.

  12. Dave says:

    Not buying his BS til he’s cap-tied. Guy is nowhere to be found when we have qualifiers, but always pops up for friendlies.

  13. XPK says:

    What would be hilarious is if he scores in Russia, pulls his jersey off to reveal a shirt that reads “Marry me USA” and gets down on one knee pretending to open a ring box.

  14. Dennis says:

    He has been consistently confused and admits so. I think the only fair approach is to take him at his word and see what happens in 2013.

    He is undoubtedly athletically talented enough for the role. Time will tell if he develops the maturity and soccer brain to deal with equally talented athletes when he faces them. (Bocanegra has dealt with much more athletically talented opponents successfully because he has developed the tactical sense necessary to put himself in good spots to defend from rather than relying on quickness to recover.) Still it is nice to have the speed when it is necessary.

  15. Nick says:

    I love the site but when I visit on my iPhone it won’t let me onto certain parts because of an ad. It’s getting ridiculous.

  16. Dean Stell says:

    I hope he’s committed this time. I can understand where he’s coming from and why he’s hemmed and hawed on this. I mean…..who do you think Timmy was cheering for at the 2002 World Cup? He’s a young man who is culturally German and probably isn’t quite good enough for their team, but because of his father, he has a chance to play for us. I can understand why he’d be less enthusiastic about that option.

    But, he really makes our team better. Even if he isn’t squeezing out Stevie now, its only a matter of time. He could be our RB at the next 2 World Cups.

  17. MikeG says:

    Like Reagan said about Russia “Trust but verify”. I trust Timothy Chandler now, but my trust is verified in Feb. I appreciate the club concerns. Club pays the paycheck. Exposure in a potential world cup can INCREASE that paycheck. You cannot lose Timothy Chandler.

  18. Thebumswillalwayslose says:

    The guy’s gotta make a tough choice, he’s been confused and went back and forth about it and he admits it. Respect him for that. I think we all tend to forget that a lot of the German-American guys are still young, and this is a pretty massive career influencing decision he’s about to make at the ripe old age of 22. That said, while I 100% respect his choice either way, this isn’t the first time he’s been “committed” to the US. So, wake me up when on Feb 6th when he’s cap-tied.

    Now, if he really is committed to the USMNT and this is what he wants, it opens up some serious options for Klinsi. If we need to go defensive in the Hex (i.e vs Mexico), but not totally park the bus, he could use Chandler on the right wing in front of Stevie C and essentially shut down an opponent’s entire left side. Por ejemplo:

    ——–Herc – Deuce——-
    LD —– MB —– Chandler
    ———-Williams————–
    FJ – Boca – Cam – Dolo
    ———–Timmy————-

    • Bobb says:

      That lineup makes my mouth water… but I start Jozy and bring in Herc off the bench, a role he excels in. Still, that gives us guys like Jones, Shea, Zusi, Guzan, Parkhurst, etc. on the bench, that is probably the deepest team we have EVER had. And we all know how important depth is, see Gold Cup 2011, when we didn’t have Chandler, and Bedoya injured Dolo, forcing us to rely on Jonathan Bornstein.

  19. Duneman says:

    Hey….remember when you were like 20-23 and you wanted to go on Spring Break and not work part time during the week? Remember when you wanted to go with some friends over the summer on some road trip or backpack tour rather then do an internship or start a job right after college?

    Oh….and what if you were making millions already as long as you were fit and healthy and doing that extra internship or part time work had the potential to give you an injurry which could impact your current millions you planned to make for the next few years or even worse cost you all money you could potentially earn staying fit over the next 10 years after which you were expecting to stop working for the rest of your live but now that you got injured on one of these internships you now have to work until you are 65 for like 1/1000 of what you would have made had you just gone out with your buddies during the summer or on that fun spring break trip. ……its not an easy choice to play international ball. Yes you get the glory and the memories and the price and the chance to play on the biggest stage of the world….but you know, some rest, and fun, and spending some cash, enjoying some ladies, and staying safe so you can make millions every year for the next 10….all sound pretty good to someone in their early 20′s…its not so easy to say “please put me down for playing international soccer for the US even though it could cost me rest and future earnings…I dont know that side of the family as well but its a great group of guys on the team, and some of the fan’s even gave me a real fun sounding nickname….i am going to have too lookup what “Frankenstein” means when I get home.” Anyway…not an easy choice, but I am really glad he makes it. If the team wants him then I am alllllll for it.

  20. Travis in Miami says:

    Almost choked on my food when I saw this. And my eyes almost rolled out of my head.

  21. biff says:

    This is probably about the greatest day ever for the USMNT. Timmy Chandler has committed to the USMNT. Wow. What an honor to have Timmy’s commitment. We can now all breathe a collective sigh of relief. He’s such a great player, yes he is, despite playing like cr*p most of the past two months for Nurnberg. And with Timmy now committed to the USMNT, we are covered for the next 10 years at right back no ifs, ands or buts about it. By golly we are. Yep, Timmy now officially owns the right back position for the USMNT for the next 10 years although he has not played one single minute for the USMNT for over a year. Timmy has truly earned the honor being the USMNT’s right back because–well. Hmmmm. Not really sure why. He just has.

  22. Thomas says:

    Timmy Chandler will not start at RB. Before you comment think about it.

  23. Wimsherfan says:

    “crosses”? Chandler’s crosses are way below average along with the rest of his offensive output.

    • Bobb says:

      Because he is a right footed player who was being used out of position by Klinsmann (imagine that…shocking…never happened before right?) at left back. Fortunately we now have Fabian Johnson locking down left back for the foreseeable future. If Chandler is played at right back or winger, aka how any sane person would use him, he will put in good crosses.

  24. Wimsherfan says:

    “crosses”? Chandler’s crosses are way below average along with the rest of his offensive output.

  25. Leonardo says:

    This comes down to one thing: Do you trust Klinsmann? I do. I also wonder what that conversation was like with Jurgen. What did he tell Chandler? Did JK tell Frankenstein some inside information on his (maybe non-existent?) chances on Germany’s national team? or maybe how much better the atmosphere is on the US team? It seems like a big deal to me to leave the country you were raised in and spent all your life in to go to the USA and play. JK has some incredible talent in getting German-American players to play for us.

    (living in the past) Now if we had an Italian-American coach who coulda done this with ::ahem:: Giuseppe Rossi…

    • beachbum says:

      never would have happened with Rossi, unless of course the Italians didn’t want him as the Germans don’t with Chandler. Rossi wanted Italy all the way and is good enough. Chandler wanted Germany all the way, but not good enough.

  26. Lost in Space says:

    IF this is truly the case and Chandler becomes cap-tied in Feb. a fair amount of the concern surounding the Defense will be relieved. Depth and quality at outside back is now stabilized.

    We’ve got a very good Midfield which is developing continuety, we’ve got a stable of young up and coming strikers, we’ve got 2 Very good keepers, and now we’ve got the wing defenders covered.

    RB – Dolo, Chandler, Lichaj
    LB – Johnson, Lichaj, Castillo

    Now if we can solve the CB equation it will go a long way towards solidifying this team as we head into the Hex.
    CB – 1) Boca/Cameron, 2) Goodson/Edu?, 3) Beasler/Gonzalez, 4) Brooks/Ream, 5) John/TBD
    To me finding 2 CB pairings and a couple wing midfidlers (hoping Gatt & Gyau fill this) should be JK’s top priorities.